NHS manager Elise David ‘off sick while showjumping’

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Wales News Service

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Elise David, pictured here on her seven-year-old gelding, Caereau Freeway, told investigators she was not the rider pictured in photographs, only to backtrack later

An NHS manager earning £50,000 a year claimed four months’ sick pay for chronic back pain while competing in showjumping events, a court has heard.

Elise David, 33, claimed she was in too much pain to work after suffering back injuries and “cognitive deficiencies” following a fall off her horse.

But Ms David, of Nottage, Porthcawl, was allegedly caught on camera at four country events, a jury at Newport Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

She is on trial and denies fraud.

Ms David, who was a laboratory quality manager at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, went off sick in June 2016, telling her employer she had difficulty walking and could not drive.

“[Ms] David was off work for the next four months but at that time she was was taking part in dressage, cross-country and showjumping competitions,” said Nigel Fryer for the prosecution.

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Wales News Service

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Ms David went to medical examinations a matter of days after competing at equestrian events, the court heard

A jury heard she attended medical examinations “only a matter of days” after competing at equestrian events.

Witnesses claimed she appeared to shuffle and walked with a stick at the occupational health examinations.

NHS fraud investigators uncovered registration for several events during her sick leave under the name Anne Davies, with details matching Ms David’s home and email addresses.

Ms David told investigators this registration was not her but a “good friend”. But the court heard Ms David later admitted it was in fact her.

She told similar lies, including about whether she was the rider pictured in photographs, only to backtrack later, the trial before Judge Daniel Williams was told.

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Wales News Service

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Ms David’s doctor said it was her professional opinion that Ms David was unfit to work or ride horses

Her GP Dr Anna Thomas confirmed she believed Ms David was unfit for work or horse riding.

The court heard Ms David resigned four months after she was due to begin a phased return to work. She left in April 2017.

Ms David denies committing fraud between July and October 2016.

The trial, expected to last three days, continues.

Article source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-46817097